Perfume Pen Pals: Gorilla Perfume / Flower's Barrow


As you already know, my parents were quite old, even when I was a little kid (especially then, it seemed), and Depression-era thrifty, so I grew up with a 1952 black-and-white Zenith console television. Its five or six channels were so grainy, it felt like an uncertain step between radio and TV.

Only in the late-70s did my father finally bring home a used color set, and while its reception was also poor, it had a big jerry-built box on top that allowed the family to use a remote control for the very first time. It was a way to watch what we weren't watching and at first I obsessively clicked and clicked and clicked that thing. (Actually each channel-change produced three audible clicks:, I bet my father wanted to wring my neck.)

I soon realized nothing worthwhile was ever on TV, especially not when I used the remote, a devious device that punished compulsion and gluttony. "You want to see everything?" it seemed to say. "Here's everything and it all sucks and you just wasted another night of your life, ha, ha, ha."

I'm currently enduring the perfume version of this. I've got a hundred samples, I wear something new every few hours, and I hate everything. Would I hate everything if I slowed down and settled in with something for a few days? Would I live long enough to then get through all my samples? Do you think the Dalai Lama worries about these kinds of things?

Here's some good news. Bucking the recent trend of awfulness is a perfume I suspect you'd appreciate: Flower's Barrow from Gorilla Perfume. It's a geranium rose, all green and clear and precise, minus any of Lush's sometimes burdensome peculiarities. It just smells really good – striking in its naturalness and clarity.

What's the point of all this, KP? I'm beginning to think my parents knew exactly what they were doing hanging on to that old Zenith all those years.



Your parents probably were onto something...but the Dalai Lama’s concerns might surprise you.

Here’s my buddy Michael Spicer “advising” His Holiness:



  1. Loved this! That guy cracks me up and I’ve only seen him in one other skit!

    1. Michael Spicer is a fun-wonder. You can catch him on Twitter at MrMichaelSpicer and also YouTube.

  2. Hi Dan! It's great to see you and thanks for reminding me about the trauma of watching TV with my father. He held onto his black and white until he inherited a color set from an older deceased relative, sometime around 1977. Then he held onto that one until it was well past its useful life. In order to watch a show, he would have to turn it on 20 minutes before the show to let it "warm up". Needless to say, that resulted in many a missed 20 minutes of a show. I think he kept that set until somewhere around 2003. You should see the relics from the last century that I have inherited from him. I only wish that he had collected perfume.

    1. This is all familiar, Melisand61. That 1970s used color “upgrade” of ours also required a warm-up phase. Ultimately, half the picture tube burned out, so we could only see the right side of the screen. Though I never walked to school in the snow.

      In the end, I chose to inherit none of it, except for a few of my dad’s old pipes, which seemed like the only pleasurable artifacts in the house.

      We all anxiously await your museum opening!

  3. "I've got a hundred samples, I wear something new every few hours, and I hate everything."

    Oh Dan. I see that your olfactory self-flagellation all these years has yet to divine anything near of what may be considered a paradisiacal ecstasy for you. Some things never change. :)

    Anyway, Dan and Katie, I haven't tried Flower's Barrow yet but I like the description of it. I tend to see Lush's perfumes as the face that could launch a thousand ships in my heart... the other way. Potent stuff.

  4. In defense of myself, Jaded too, the above entry was written a long while ago. On the other hand, I now have thousands of samples and nothing else has changed, so never mind.

    I did go back and dig up Flower’s Barrow after Katie had posted my praise and the opening is a violent mess. I can’t tell if it’s a matter of time and disintegration or if that was the original intention. (With Lush it could be either). But it softens nicely and I don’t feel too badly about having praised it. I just hope Katie doesn’t post some of my perfume notes from the ‘80s. Now *that* would be embarrassing.